How Much Does Baby Food Cost?
Once a baby begins to eat solids (“solids” refers to baby food and cereal, not actual table food) the cost of food can start to affect your monthly grocery bill. Usually this takes place between 4-6 months of age. Babies will begin on simple rice cereal, then progress to a mix of baby food and cereal, and will eventually be able to eat all baby foods and no longer need formula or cereal. This transition usually takes place between 12-15 months old.
How much is the cost of baby food?
- On average, baby food is going to cost the average family anywhere from $45 to as much as $115 per month when using solid foods.
- A box of Gerber Infant Cereal will cost approximately $3 for a 16 ounce box. This box can last up to a month at first, but will gradually only last about one week. As the amount of baby food your child consumes grows, the amount of cereal will diminish.
- Gerber Baby food, such as pureed bananas, apples, green beans, peas, etc., usually come in two-packs and will cost between $1-$1.50 per pack. Children 6 months – 12 months will usually consume 2-4 containers of baby food per day. (An example would be a fruit for breakfast, a vegetable for lunch, and one of each at dinner.) With this in mind, you will spend between $37.50-$75 per month on baby food.
- Companies such as Gerber make many different kinds of healthy snacks for babies, such as fruit puffs or fruit melts. These help the baby learn how to have solid food in their mouths without causing choking. Snacks like these can cost $2-$4 and will last about a week or two.
- For the first year, baby formula can run anywhere from $45 to $100 per month depending on the brand that is purchased. See: “How much does baby formula cost?“ There are two types of formula that include powder and liquid.
What is going to be included?
- Gerber, like most baby food companies, claims to “Lay the foundation for healthy eating by introducing nutritious foods at an early age.” Baby food should always abide by the regulations of the FDA and should include as much real food as possible and as little fillers and water as possible. Read the ingredients labels carefully!
What are the extra costs?
- If you choose to buy only organic food for your child, plan on spending between $20 and $40 extra per month. One jar of organic baby food can cost upwards of $1 to $2 per jar.
- Some babies need specific types of foods as a result of allergies. Soy products, for example, can be quite a bit more expensive.
Top brands to consider:
- Del Monte
- Earths Best
- Happy Baby
How can I save money?
- Almost all stores, such as Meijer, have their baby food on sale every few weeks. It is best to stock up on baby food when it is at its cheapest. This could save you about $10 per month.
- Some people choose to make their own baby food by pureeing fresh fruits and vegetables. This may be less expensive, but it is also much more work. The storing and preserving of the food is the hardest part.
- Consider buying store brand baby food rather than the name brand. Be sure to compare the ingredients as you’ll find that many of the store brands are highly comparable.